Thu, 21 Feb 2019
High-kicking bespangled drag queens is not what you might expect to find in a story about a down-at-heel shoe factory in Northampton, but then Kinky Boots is not your usual musical.
The plot (and the stage) revolves around Charlie (Joel Harper-Jackson), the factory’s heir, who needs a niche market to revive the business that he inherited on the death of his father, when he meets Lola, (Kayi Ushe) the super-slinky all singing and dancing leader of a nightclub drag queen act - who also has to be declared the shining star of this show. Together they decide that manufacturing “two-and-a-half feet of irresistible tubular sex”, or thigh-high red glittery boots, could be just the shot in the arm, or rather leg, that Price & Co needs.
Lola, accompanied by her six sexy, sassy “angels” power the performance along with their dazzling costumes and dizzying dancing and acrobatics, while the High School Musical-style pop music gets everyone clapping along as eventually all those in the shoe factory to the leather-aproned macho factory worker Don (beautifully performed by Demitri Lampra) and Charlie himself, end up prancing across the stage in thigh-high stiletto heeled boots. Much to the delight of the audience, who are brought to their own feet before the show had properly even ended.
Full of glitz, glamour and good humour, Kinky Boots, with music and lyrics by pop-star Cyndi Lauper, has been running in the West End for three years and has racked up no end of awards including a Grammy - and it’s not hard to see why. If, like many musicals, it’s a tad cheesy in parts, this is more than made up by the brilliance of the lead roles, the seamless set design and the huge amount of energy and exuberance on stage.
A fabulous treat for all the family, Kinky Boots is on at the New Theatre Oxford until Saturday.